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Crossing of a different kind

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalLanguage in Society
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2019


King's Authors


This study of language crossing moves away from the scenes of multi-ethnic heteroglossia that have dominated the research, and turns instead to a setting affected by major conflict where the language of the traditional enemy has been introduced to secondary schools as part of a reconciliation initiative. This generates a radically different view of crossing and the environment in which it emerges: schooling counts more than popular culture; inter-generational links matter as much as peer relations; and ‘technical redoing’ is a more important key for crossing than ‘make believe’, ‘contests’ or ‘ceremonials’ (Goffman 1974). With a very different profile of this kind, crossing retains and extends its significance, pointing to a sociolinguistic practice that also occurs in official sites struggling with a legacy of violence and acute division.

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